Still standing, sorta

I recently got a chance to swing by this old barn near Wilton and check in to see how it’s doing. You see, I’ve made a point of taking a peek to see its progress – decline, really – since I first stopped by in 2010 to use it for a test subject on a brand new camera model I was evaluating for purchase.

 
 

This is what it looked like when I first came across it. Pretty cool, huh? It was already starting to sag toward the front, and a large beam had been propped up to arrest its fall.

 

Even back then, it was pretty obvious where this was heading. The collapse was inevitable, but the old barn has put up one heck of a fight. This photo is over ten years old.

 

It’s weathered many storms and seen hundreds of sunsets, but it’s starting to sunset itself these days. The stone side is completely crumbled, the wood from the ends is gone, and the entire structure has now sunk to the ground. But I prefer to remember it like this.

I’m afraid that before too long this barn, like many of my other favorite “Fallen Farms” photo subjects, will be gone. But for now, I’m going to continue to pay it a visit occasionally, and it has never disappointed me…it always provides a fantastic photo opportunity, and I’m sure it will faithfully do so until the end.

Lakefront resort

Out on this peninsula sits one of the coolest old homes that I’ve ever found. Accessible only by air, it has a fantastic view of a lake on three sides.

Meticulously built from a wide variety of stone, this home sits in a spot that used to have a road long ago…but that road sits well underwater these days. I drove as close to it as I could but I was still a long distance away.

Incredibly scenic, but sadly just too far away from…well…anything. Near what some would call a ghost town, I suppose…but otherwise isolated, this stone house is one of my all-time favorites.

Not as happy to be a barn

Not too long after I’d found the happy barn (which I posted about last week), I came upon this one. I’ve photographed it before, and it doesn’t look as if it’s fallen any more than it had the last time I’d stopped by, but it is definitely not in the same condition as the smiley-face one.

Sadly, this barn has been collapsing for some time. Fortunately, it’s still likely to be striking a photogenic pose for a while yet.

Naturally, if there is an opportunity for a windmill or a well, I’m gonna take it. Thankfully, there was this this fantastic specimen standing nearby.

Oh yeah – there’s this building right next to the barn. Isn’t it glorious? That brick. The roof that used to be there. The row of windows. And a fortunate sky. Some days it’s better to be lucky than good!

I’ll have to keep an eye on this old farmstead the next time I’m in the area. Of course, you’ll see the results here.

School’s out for summer

This schoolhouse sits in the town of Griffin, which some would label as a ghost town. I don’t know about that, but I didn’t take the time to find out. This was a surprise discovery I saw from the road as I was bolting further west for a couple of photo targets.

This is the Langberg School, located in the far southwest corner of the state. The storms which had clouded the skies just a short while earlier had moved on, giving me a nice, sunny summer backdrop for this photo.

It’s sad to see these old schools in such disrepair, just like the churches and farmsteads. But they’re incredibly photogenic, and fun to hunt down (and discover along the way).

Finally

I’ve passed this old farmhouse on Highway 83 innumerable times. I’d marked it in my GPS as a place worth investigation years ago. I finally seized an opportunity to check it out one evening (as you can tell by the long shadow), and it did not disappoint.

Nestled in plain sight

After several grueling months, I did something I haven’t done in a long, long time: take a vacation. Along the way, I spotted this wonderful old barn along the highway. I couldn’t help myself: I had to pull off to the side of the road and snap a few shots. What a great start to what has been a fantastic vacation.

Topless at sunset

I spotted this old barn a long, long time ago, but had never really spent any time with it. I had to fly some drone batteries down to 50% for storage (LiPo batteries do not like to be stored at 100% charge) and took the opportunity to investigate. While the wooden top of the barn is gone, the concrete base is well intact.

It wasn’t long before the colors in the sky began to change, as I’d arrived while the sun was getting real low (obvious Incredible Hulk / Avengers reference here). While this presented some interesting challenges due to shadows, it also gave me a broad spectrum of sky to work with.

As the sun vanished beyond the horizon, I got one last splash of purple. And that was that. All batteries were discharged to the proper range, I was out of usable light, and it was time to head home.

Hoodie

One of these trucks has gone full-blown Mater, with no hood at all. The other one has its beak wide-open. Thankfully, I had a nice telephoto lens with me; they’re a short distance from the road, and on the day when I took this photo the ground was getting pretty soft (and muddy) already!

Winter home

I’d seen this house from afar before, but hadn’t actually taken the opportunity to investigate. In fact, I’d forgotten about it. I hadn’t even marked a waypoint for it in my GPS, something I do for all kinds of prospective photo spots. Well, a little while ago I was nearby and caught a glimpse of it again. I had just enough time to fly over and check it out.

This looks like a grand old house, and it has a perfect place out on the prairie. It didn’t hurt that we had a fantastic sky that day.

Speaking of the sky: I must admit, one thing I love about photography this time of year (and I’ve written about this previously) is that the sky can be so dramatically different just by changing the angle a bit.

This trip served multiple purposes: for one, I hadn’t been out with my cameras in an awfully long time. I also needed to exercise my drone and its batteries. Lastly, I’d purchased a new (to me) truck and wanted to take it on a shakedown cruise. I’m happy to say that the trip was a total success by all measures.

Missing some tin

I spotted this little building a long time ago while out on my dirt bike. I recently decided to check it out, and I’m glad I did. It was a perfect day for photography, and I had found a wonderful subject.

One trick about this time of year is the light: the sun is low in the sky, making the light quite directional. So it’s tough to get a decent shot of multiple angles. I managed to pull it off, plus bracketing exposures helps me overcome those harsh winter shadows.

One cool side effect of that is the variety of shots I can get from a single point in time and a slightly different perspective. The skies were definitely more dramatic in one direction than the others, and the shadows more of a nuisance on one side than the others. So I worked it the best I could, and I think the results are quite satisfactory.